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Bergen Co YAB - Luggage Sucess!!!!

Thanks to the efforts of the Bergen County Youth Advisory Board, (YAB), thousands of New Jersey foster children will be able to move thier personal belongings in duffle bags instead of garbage bags. 

The Bergen County YAB began working on this project last year.  When discussing their experiences in the system, one thing they all agreed upon was that it was embarrassing to have to move their personal belongings in garbage bags.  So they decided to do something about it. 

They wrote personal statements about their experiences.  They also obtained hundreds of signatures on a  petition that they submitted to DYFS, asking them to change their policy so that every youth in foster care would receive luggage to move their personal belongings.  

As a result of thier hard work and determination, they were sucessful!  The policy was changed and Walmart  donated 7,000 duffle bags with wheels.  This is enough for every child in the foster care system to receive a bag.

The YAB member's efforts were rewarded in a ceremony on Thursday July 21, 2011. New Jersey's First Lady, Mary Pat Christie, and the Department of Children and Families Commissioner, Allison Blake, honored the YAB members at a press conference held at the Children's Aid and Family Services building.  

The bags are already being given out in Trenton.  The YAB has also been assured that DYFS caseworkers will use luggage, not garbage bags, to move the belongings of all New Jersey foster children in the future.